Dear Costume Goddess,
Do you think glasses are terribly distracting during a performance?

I am blind as a bat and always wear my glasses, and I also have my first-ever public performance coming up in a few weeks. I never really thought about my glasses before since they're such an automatic part of me, and sometimes I don't even realize that I have them on.

But the other day, something "clicked" (perhaps after looking through tons of belly dancing sites and noticing that no one wore glasses) and I knew I'd have to make the decision to go onstage with or without them.

Contacts are not an option, since my eyes can't handle them. So do you think it would take away from my performance if I wore them, or should I start practicing without my glasses (I don't know how it's going to affect my dancing)?

Before I got contact lenses, I danced in my nearsighted state. It's a big relief since I got contacts! It DID inhibit my performance, especially when dancing on a stage, where the faces of the audience were nothing more than a blur.
It was a little easier in a small restaurant, just a few feet from the audience.

Being farsighted would be less of a disadvantage, since one could see the audience, and there's no need to read, sew, or apply one's mascara while performing.

Since you can't wear contacts, I suggest that you consider the glasses part of your costume, if you do wear them. You will always be remembered as the "bellydancer with the glasses," so approach it with humor and appreciate your unique sense of style.

A small metal frame in a matte finish or dark pewter color (rather than studious-looking tortoise-shell) would work best for Tribal style (left). The metal coins, bells, and other jewelry would harmonize rather than clash.

For cabaret (right) a plastic frame could show a touch of theatrical whimsy: a candy color, cat's-eye shape, or tiny rhinestones. Such frames can be found in vintage clothing shops at small cost and your own prescription lenses added.

Keep your hairstyle and accessories simple, especially earrings.
~Dina Lydia


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